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Ramble with Storm: The cost of corn & the meaning of maize

Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

Yesterday, while checking on what lakes would be open around Chicago fishing for fall trout season, I got into a discussion on the price of corn.

In Cook and DuPage counties, the IDNR and the forest preserve districts both stock lakes, so sometimes stocked lakes are not on the official statewide list. That’s why I double check.

Well, the cost of stocking is going up, because corn is a prime component of fish food for trout. With the drought, the cost of corn is shooting up. It gets passed on.

The cost of corn impacts many of not only animal feeds but foods for human consumption, too. The price of corn jumped a few years ago, too, when bio-fuels became popular.

It was a corny morning, so to speak.

I have been ground-baiting or chumming for a friend who is obsessed with catching an odd fish in the town pond.

And the ground bait ran out. So I told him. And he said to use maize.

In my better moments, I can be a smartass; so I asked, “Do you mean field corn?”

Maize or a related word (depending on the language) is used in the rest of the world. Here we talk about corn, either sweet corn or field corn.

Now with the rapid pass of harvest because of the drought of 2012, I figured it would be no problem to find a waste ear of corn in the field that the meathead and I pass on our extended ramble.

Ho, ho, ho.

I forgot the farmer was already disking the field. So I don’t know if that is why or if the Canada geese had worked the field over before disking (that would be my theory) or if the corn yield was so low that even fewer ears were wasted, but there was no waste corn.

I had to walk a quarter mile before finding one nubby ear with maybe three handful of kernels still on it.

The nice thing about the long walk was it sent us out on a different path I have never taken and there were two deer tracks. So there are deer around the town pond at least sometimes.

Two geese swam quietly in the north old clay pit; two, in the south one.

Only a few more hedge apples have fallen.

No kingfishers, no doves, no rabbits, no great blue herons on this stunningly beautiful fall dawn.

Back in town, the meathead hustled one gray squirrel up a telephone pole. That was it for wildlife.

The neighbor’s maple has nearly dropped all its leaves. Fall comes fast and hard.